Betken van Gent (d. 1560)

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Betken van Gent, whose actual name was Elisabeth Berents, born at Ghent in Belgium, was secretly drowned in a tub in the Steen prison in Antwerp, on 16 March 1560 because she persisted in her faith and refused to recant. Her clothes and furniture had been confiscated and sold on 4 January 1560. By this date she must already have been imprisoned. She was drowned with two other women, Doof Betken and Lijsken Smits. The names of all three women are found in the song, "Aenhoort Godt, hemelsche Vader" (Give ear, O God, heavenly Father), No. 16 in the Liedtboecxken van den Offer des Heeren, also mentioned in Wolkan, Lieder.


Dit Boec wort genoemt: Het Offer des Heeren, om het inhout van sommighe opgheofferde kinderen Godts . . . N.p., 1570: 567. Available in full electronic text at:

Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, 1685: Part II, 270.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 640. Available online at:  

Génard, Petrus. Antwerpsch archievenblad(IX): 6, 11, 17; (XIV): 28-29, No. 313.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 209.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903. Reprinted Nieuwkoop : B. De Graaf, 1965:63, 72.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Betken van Gent (d. 1560)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 6 Dec 2021.

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Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1953). Betken van Gent (d. 1560). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 December 2021, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 318. All rights reserved.

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